February 13, 2014

Lessons learned while sitting on the bathroom floor

Above is the fantastic marriage of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

When training for a half marathon being able to run 10 miles is the sign that you know you can finish your race.  All kinds of things can happen on race day- crazy weather, blisters, chafing, but you know that if you can run 10 miles you can run 13.1.

On Sunday I ran 10 miles.  It took over 2 hours and I was at the very bottom of my time goal but I did it.  I quit somewhere around mile 6, turned around, and started to wait for my ride, but I dug a little deeper and started again.  My husband, who is training for his own first marathon, stayed with me for the last 3 miles.  He followed me in the car, shouting encouragement, and brought me water.  He stayed with me while I managed to run/walk the last 2 miles.  And as it got darker and colder in the last 20 minutes I was so relieved that I was not alone.

He is absolutely essential to my success.

I ran the last three miles listening to an audio book, instead of music.  I also ran thinking about a bag of cinnamon-sugar pretzels that were waiting for me when I finished.  I knew that 6 miles really wasn't enough to justify eating off plan but 10 miles got me chocolate, beer, and the sweet treat I had been saving for the end of a long run.  My dear, sweet, lumberjack of a husband brought me chocolate and drinks in the bathtub while I soaked away the soreness.  He then stayed with me while we watched 30 Rock on my iPad.  I mean the man sat on the floor of our bathroom (I cannot, for the life of me, remember when was the last time either of us cleaned that floor?) and watched Tina Fey 'Mamma Mia' Alec Baldwin while I ate Paleo-ish chocolate covered cherries and tried to remember how to move my toes.

Really, Brandon is absolutely a key component of my successful training and what I hope to be an awesome race.

Now that day he was doing for me what I had done for him.  On the days of his long runs, especially those that went poorly, I brought him drinks and sat on the floor next to the tub.  I made special trips for his Gatorade and Snickers bars.

So I started this post thinking about cinnamon pretzels and what 10 miles taught me but instead I started to think about the small lessons learned while sitting on the bathroom floor.  Sitting next to my partner I was reminded about small everyday acts of courage, bravery, and hope (mine on that day) made possible by the small, but incredibly necessary, acts of service, submission, grace, and gentleness (his in this example).  I also was reminded that in recent weeks we've each filled those roles for the other and I'm grateful for these moments.  I'm grateful that I wasn't alone this Sunday afternoon.  I'm grateful that I shared my triumph and accomplishment with Brandon and I am glad that I've served as a witness to his similar moments.

Oh, what a lovely, glorious, sweet life it is.

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